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Interview: Q&A with RackNerd CEO Dustin B. Cisneros on Leading, Learning, Help and Execution

Tags: , , Date/Time: April 21, 2020 @ 2:58 am, by Jon Biloh

RackNerd CEO Dustin Cisneros - RackNerd is a Leading VPS Hosting Provider

As part of a new series of interview style Q/A sessions we will be rolling out, LowEndBox had the opportunity to interview Dustin B. Cisneros of RackNerd (www.racknerd.com).

Dustin, a 12 year industry veteran, currently serves as RackNerd’s Founder and CEO, and his company services customers out of 8 global datacenter locations. 

What can you tell us about yourself, how you got to where you are today, and your role at RackNerd?

I first entered the web hosting industry 12 years ago, with focus on three product lines: dedicated servers, shared hosting and reseller hosting. During the earlier stages of my start-up, I was essentially running every department myself. By doing this, I learned the workings of the hosting industry and I learned the importance of customer communication, rapid support, and what it takes to deliver an outstanding hosting experience. Fast forwarding to years later, the company grew to over 4,000 active customers with nearly a dozen remote employees under my wing.

In 2011, I began working at a data center services company with three US-based facilities, and throughout my tenure, I expanded the company’s footprint to 9 global datacenter locations and sold millions of dollars in revenue based on my individual sales efforts. I have had the opportunity to deep dive into complex business problems and solve them with elegant and modern technology solutions. Not too long after I started, I quickly worked my way up the ranks within the organization, eventually leading the entire pack in every department you can imagine!

After nearly eight years of employment, I desired advancing my personal and professional growth. I resigned my leadership position and launched RackNerd. Today I serve as the company’s CEO where I get to apply what I know and learned towards leading a customer-driven and service-oriented company. As of March 2020, we operate in Los Angeles, Utah, Dallas, New York, New Jersey, Montreal, London, and Amsterdam – serving clients from every continent of the world (except for Antarctica!). RackNerd plans on continuing to expand its global footprint, while delivering the highest level of service to individuals and businesses alike.

What advice would you give to business owners today, or those aspiring to become one?

My best piece of advice is to operate your business and be in control of every aspect of the ship. I’m personally not a fan of the word “delegate” because that’s an action that a lot of executives take today under the false belief that things will be “taken care of” or be “under control.” No, I want to see for myself, know that my business is headed in the right direction, and be assured that my customers are satisfied.

It’s important to make sure every vital (component) of your business is being managed as if your life depends on it. Know every single detail about your company. As the company owner, the reality is you will always have a certain eye for things that other employees simply won’t see.

Lastly, being in active communication with your team and your clients is an important ingredient to set your company up for success and happy customers. Good business is all about communication – put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Frame and articulate your communication in a way that people can actually hear – while over-delivering on the promises and expectations that you’ve set.

 

What is the most significant characteristic that makes RackNerd as respected and competitive as it is today in the industry?

RackNerd remains competitive in the industry by confronting the challenges each and every business faces. We are leveraging our industry experience with market intelligence to minimize and eliminate growing pains during our scaling. Our educated and competent staff cares greatly for our clients and the overall sustainable well-being of RackNerd. With a great passion for the industry, we’re taking on the competition, not just on price — but on service.

 

What do you like most about your role, and the space you’re in?

Running the ship of a company with global data center locations, I take great pride and joy in communicating with, and designing solutions for customers and companies from all over the world. It’s truly a unique experience to interact with customers from different cultures, and finding ways that I can add and exchange value. Also, the fact that while I’m in total control, I am still learning. I enjoy this industry, as you can constantly develop, learn, teach, and help others.

 

Speaking from both a personal and professional standpoint, what is one guiding principle that you live by – perhaps one that aspiring business owners or executives should consider adopting?

Be the solution, not the problem. I take responsibility for everything that happens in life – and that includes my business. I am a firm believer that when you give up responsibility, you give up control.

Say you run a company, and you’re constantly complaining about how your people aren’t being productive. Why not take responsibility and do something about it to change the condition? Early on in my professional career, I started taking the stance of how I can solve the problem (being the solution, rather than passing on the problem), and this is one very important guiding principle that I live by religiously to this day.

 

What are some of the toughest challenges you’ve witnessed in the industry, and what are you doing to handle them differently?

I see the greatest challenge in the cloud and hosting industry today as being a lack of commitment from providers to their customers. Additionally, a lack of expertise in the solutions being delivered. Not only are we very clear on our mission, our entire team is on the same page of over-delivering and ensuring we are over-exchanging in service and value delivery with our customers.

 

Are there any new developments in the works that would further serve the needs of the hosting industry worldwide and contribute to your commitment to global expansion?

As a globally diversified provider of hosting solutions, we have amassed a portfolio of customers who have location-sensitive (latency) requirements. To achieve our Q3 2020 roadmap goal, and with our clients demanding greater global presence, we are actively negotiating contracts to expand our service offerings to additional data center locations.

 

Dustin, thank you for giving us a great amount of insight into who you are, the way you operate, and your company: RackNerd. This is great content, and is encouraging to both consumers and business owners browsing our website. It is clear that with your attention and unique approach in servicing customers, delivering a tremendous value is the key takeaway that entrepreneurs should live by in order to survive and grow as a business.

Absolutely, I’ve personally been part of the LEB community for over a decade and I continue to seek opportunities to help others and share knowledge however possible. I am highly passionate about meeting like-minded individuals and hearing new (and different) perspectives; I welcome anyone and everyone to connect with me on LinkedIn, or by email at dustin[AT]racknerd[dot]com. Thank you so much for having me on the interview spotlight today!

 

To learn more about RackNerd, please visit https://www.racknerd.com/ or click on the thumbnail below.

 

I'm Jon Biloh and I own LowEndBox and LowEndTalk. I've spent my nearly 20 year career in IT building companies and now I'm excited to focus on building and enhancing the community at LowEndBox and LowEndTalk.

35 Comments

  1. WITHIN5G:

    WOW. I have to say this was a great interview. If you will be doing live interviews I would recommend you upload them to youtube.

    April 21, 2020 @ 3:28 am | Reply
    • Hi WITHIN5G, thank you so much!

      That’s actually a pretty cool idea – I too would love to see those.

      April 21, 2020 @ 1:12 pm | Reply
  2. Thank you Dustin for taking part in our Low End Box interview series!

    April 21, 2020 @ 9:31 am | Reply
    • Hi Jon, thank you so much for the interview and for featuring RackNerd! I know you’ve invited others, and have already interviewed others which is also going to be amazing to read those interviews once live.

      To everyone else: If you’re a provider and have read the interview, I too encourage you to do an interview. It’s a great way to understand your current state, visions, and only improve. Wishing everyone success. Whether you’re an end-user, or provider I am here to help.

      Feel free to email me dustin@racknerd.com or Skype: live:.cid.2bbada65a61b9712

      Lastly, what’s LowEndBox & LowEndTalk without a deal?

      Here’s our current KVM VPS special:
      https://my.racknerd.com/cart.php?a=add&pid=57

      April 21, 2020 @ 1:10 pm | Reply
      • Ben:

        Do you guys support IPv6?

        April 21, 2020 @ 4:51 pm | Reply
        • Hi Ben – thank you for your interest in our services.
          We do support IPv6 and can allocate up to 100 IPv6 per VM free of charge. Once you’ve ordered just open a support ticket requesting that we assign them, and we’ll do this right away.

          Let’s work together!

          April 21, 2020 @ 5:31 pm | Reply
  3. First of all, I am delighted to see and read about the accomplishments of a friend and a provider of mine that I have known since year 2010 now. Such an interview with Dustin Cisneros as a successful, smart, honest and hard working person surely should benefit many people who wants to learn. I have learned so much from him and I believe everyone shall find an opportunity to approach and benefit from his knowledge. I have been always amazed at the way he was a natural marketing machine, he is simply the best sales person that I have ever known.

    April 21, 2020 @ 1:10 pm | Reply
  4. First of all I am delighted to see and read about the accomplishments of a friend and a provider of mine that I have known since year 2010 now. Such an interview with Dustin Cisneros as a successfull, smart, honest and hard working person surely should benefit many people who wants to learn. I have learned so much from him and I believe everyone shall find an oportunity to approach and benefit from his knowledge. I have been always amazed at the way he was a natural marketing machine, he is simply the best sales person that I have ever known.

    April 21, 2020 @ 1:10 pm | Reply
    • Hi Ceko,

      I remember when you were just using shared hosting with Innohosting and when I spoke with you, I told you about the opportunity in the hosting industry and showed you my reseller plans. You were open, interested, and trusted me.

      Ever since then, we’ve both helped each other, learned from each other. You are now a provider who has been in the game for many years with a reputable brand. I think it should be known, your brand has thousands of customers behind you. I support everything you’re doing. I also consider you a friend, thanks for being a good guy!

      Keep crushing it.

      April 21, 2020 @ 1:35 pm | Reply
  5. o_be_one:

    Would appreciated to read more about fails also, because behind each success there is a lot of tries.

    April 21, 2020 @ 2:27 pm | Reply
    • I agree with you, that is very true.
      I am excited to read the upcoming interviews. I encourage every provider to participate in these interviews.

      April 21, 2020 @ 3:03 pm | Reply
  6. Scott W.:

    I have recently become a customer of RackNerd. I am a bit of wary about the budget VPS providers out there. I have dealt with many of them and a lot of them are really not very honest. Some took your money and run away (see here for a list of such providers — https://lowendbox.com/blog/supremevps-ssd-linux-vps-plans-starting-at-42-50-a-year/, in the comment there is a list of defunct businesses). Some provider horrible customer support. Some companies are just faceless and you don’t really know who you are dealing with. I understand that this is a cut-throat business. However, there will always be someone standing out from the crowd. I have nice experience with RackNerd so far. I can sense Dustin’s enthusiasm by his quick response to every query posted on LEB and elsewhere. This is a sign of treating your customers as a high priority. The tickets I opened with RackNerd were also handled in a speedy fashion. I hope they keep on good work and build the RackNerd business for the long haul. You can only be successful if you make your customers successful.

    April 21, 2020 @ 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Hi Scott! Thank you for being a RackNerd customer. This truly means a lot to me and the team. We are committed to our customers and I’m happy you’ve chosen us as your provider, and that you can see we’re doing our best :)

      Scott, if you ever need anything, count me in! Here’s my info: dustin@racknerd.com or Skype: live:.cid.2bbada65a61b9712

      April 21, 2020 @ 3:59 pm | Reply
  7. Linuxfanboy:

    Hey Dustin, do you have any openings in your company? Been trying so hard to find a job. I am located in Nevada.

    April 21, 2020 @ 4:46 pm | Reply
  8. Nielsen:

    I tried Racknerd for a simple site about 2 weeks ago. It has been down 3 times already, the longest was 8 hours. Not sure what kind of monitoring they had. I asked to move my KVM to another more stable server, but they just answer issued resolved. The server is also a bit slow, I only have one WP site and the panel is slow to load. Just hope it’ll get the issue resolved here. Support didn’t work.

    April 21, 2020 @ 6:24 pm | Reply
    • Hi Nielsen,

      Thank you so much for being our customer. We do use various tools internally for monitoring, including HetrixTools. We did have some recent DDoS attacks that did cause drops. Of course, we caught this with our monitoring and mitigated. As we learn and see new attacks, we adapt to mitigate for the future.

      Also, we most recently completed scheduled maintenance, to replace routing infrastructure. Which also did cause a brief outage as scheduled.

      These events were related to RackNerd’s DC-02 location and while not widespread, it did affect some like yourself. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused. By the way, if this doesn’t sound like the location you’re in, please let me know.

      I would love to help any way I can, feel free to connect dustin@racknerd.com or Skype: live:.cid.2bbada65a61b9712

      April 21, 2020 @ 6:35 pm | Reply
  9. Ankermah:

    Favorable support cheap price. I so happy my vps work good v2ray purpose.

    Thank my

    April 21, 2020 @ 9:44 pm | Reply
    • Hello Ankermah – thank you for sharing your positive experience with the community.

      We sincerely appreciate your business.

      April 22, 2020 @ 1:38 am | Reply
  10. This is a great interview from Dustin, many congratulations mate. Best of luck.

    Congrats to Jon for doing a great job with LEB and LET. Very exited to read all the upcoming interviews and learn from all the experts in our industry.

    April 21, 2020 @ 11:58 pm | Reply
  11. Joe exotic:

    That was a great interview.

    I hope everyone shows their face so we can see who’s behind all these companies.

    April 22, 2020 @ 1:04 am | Reply
  12. Hi Mitesh, thank you so much for the best wishes. We’re doing great as a company, and we owe it to the community as well.
    I have to agree, Jon is doing a wonderful job, you can tell he’s committed to improving both LowEndBox and LowEndTalk!

    Keep crushing it Mitesh! Don’t stop.

    April 22, 2020 @ 1:41 am | Reply
  13. Jimmy:

    Maybe he should start by frost refund all the customers he scammed from his AlphaVPS brand.

    Where are the tough questions Jon?

    Ask him why was he suddenly fired from QuadraNet along with his buddy.

    Ask him why was he involved in running his own company inside Quadranet while working for Quadranet and potentially violating his employment agreement.

    What happened to all the funds that he collected from his customers on those brands?

    April 22, 2020 @ 8:53 am | Reply
    • Hi Jimmy,
      This has already been addressed numerous times throughout the past few months – and to dispel the false information you’ve read, prior to starting RackNerd I was the global sales manager for an established datacenter services company based out of Los Angeles, plus eight other locations.

      During my tenure there, of course, I’ve had the pleasure to interact with and work with numerous clients. It is unfortunate that ironically one day after my resignation, false information was spread online by an ex-employee of my ex-employer with the hope to tarnish my name, and hinder the ability to start my own company (as my intentions were clear and transparent in my resignation letter).

      No agreement was violated, and in fact, I am on speaking terms with the CEO and send opportunities his way as they come along as well. I wish them nothing but the best.

      April 22, 2020 @ 3:55 pm | Reply
      • o_be_one:

        ^ This is why i’ve said that i would like to read answers about fails you met Dustin. I’ve nothing against you, my experience with your company is actually mind blowing (i mean, you don’t earn money with me since i’ve the cheapest offer RackNerd has never done on LEB, and no provider offer this with this quality of service. I had an issue, and after few discussions with support you have contacted me personally to apologize and offered me an awesome compensation ; i truly appreciate your move).

        My point of view is that i just see a passionnated guy doing his best to help his company to grow and create a “name”. And i’m happy when i read good comments from Francisco (BuyVM) for example as it confirms you are probably a serious guy that was just stuck in a big bad buzz.

        I feel really sorry for you regarding people who feels robbed by your previous experiences ; if you did nothing for that.

        I wish you the best for your new company Dustin and i wish more network stability for RackNerd ^^.

        April 24, 2020 @ 4:36 pm | Reply
    • C:

      AlphaRacks incident is a black box, no one knows what really happend, except QuadraNet.

      April 28, 2020 @ 11:41 pm | Reply
    • pepa65:

      Just to clarify, Dustin was involved in AlphaRacks, by which I was personally duped.
      He has nothing to do with AlphaVPS, a very solid brand in a different continent that is still hosting one of my servers fast and reliably.

      May 27, 2020 @ 10:10 am | Reply
      • Hi Pepa65, thanks for commenting.
        I was not involved in Alpharacks – and I’m sorry you were the effect of them going out of business.
        My involvement was simply one of many theories, false information, misleading information that was spread. If you have any particular questions, I’d love to help.

        Also, if you’re interested – we’d love to have you as a customer here. Just get in touch and your first month is on me :)

        May 27, 2020 @ 10:22 am | Reply
  14. Mekhael:

    Great wisdom. I hope to start a business one day !!

    April 22, 2020 @ 2:02 pm | Reply
  15. Hi Mekhael – thank you so much! I enjoy helping others. When you are ready to start your own business just connect with me and I’d be happy to provide you with pointers.

    Email: dustin@racknerd.com

    April 22, 2020 @ 3:58 pm | Reply
  16. richard_rich:

    speaking for myself here… racknerd has provided a good service and support ticket responses to my questions are fast i really don’t think theres anything to complain about. for $16.55 a year thats bout what id be spending at solarvps give or take for something similar in benchmarks. now will performance be consistent? ill update…

    April 22, 2020 @ 5:16 pm | Reply
    • Hi richard_rich, I enjoy hearing when customers enjoy the level of service we provide.
      Thank you being a customer of RackNerd, this means so much to me, and the team.

      Let’s stay in contact, reach me here: dustin@racknerd.com or Skype: live:.cid.2bbada65a61b9712

      April 22, 2020 @ 5:44 pm | Reply
  17. Oh wow Dustin! You were my very first web hosting provider (reseller) – it was when I was 14 years old. Sumoweb or something. Congratulations, glad of your accomplishments!

    April 23, 2020 @ 12:28 am | Reply
    • Camille Ang – Such a pleasure to see you around, I totally remember you!

      You were such a good customer – this is one of my favorite parts of the business, connecting with my customers, and creating long term memorable and personal relationships. If you’d like a KVM VPS, or even cPanel shared, or reseller hosting you’re in! Free, for one year, no catch.

      Nice to see you around.

      April 23, 2020 @ 1:14 am | Reply

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